tv Democracy Now LINKTV July 6, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PDT
[captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> today, all of us together sign a bright page in modern european history. we prove that democracy cannot be blackmailed. amy: greece says no to austerity. more than 60% of voters rejected bailout deal. we will get reaction from costas panayotakis, just back from
greece. south carolina begins debate on removing the confederate flag from its state capital. >> this flag comes down today. amy: in the name of god, this flag comes down today. so said bree newsome as she took down the flag on the south carolina state capital. now, she joins us in studio. bree: my ancestors came through charleston by slave market. the confederate flag is a symbol of folks trying to hold us into the place of bondage that we have been before. our struggle the past one hundred 50 years of trying to come out of that place. amy: we will also speak with jimmy tyson, who spotted bree newsome on the ground while she scaled the pole. >> racism is unacceptable. hate crimes are in except a bowl. amy: all that and more coming
up. ♪ amy: welcome to democracy now! i'm amy goodman. greek voters have rejected the term seven international bailout . with a march of 61% to 39% greeks said no to further budget cuts from great creditors. the prime minister said his country had refused to succumb to blackmail. >> today, all of us together signed a bright page in modern european history. even under the most difficult circumstances, democracy cannot be blackmailed. today considering last week's difficult circumstances, you made a brave choice. however, i am fully aware of the mandate here to strengthen our negotiation position to seek a
viable solution. amy: polls had indicated a narrow vote, but the no side swept districts across greece. thousands of people flocked to athens' main square in celebration. greek voters have rejected measures that helped cripple the economy, but also turned down a financial lifeline for the struggling banks. the banks will remain closed as they consider new emergency loans. tsipras says he will seek a new round of talks to restructure the greek debt. german chancellor angela merkel is meeting with the french president francois hollande followed by a european union summit on tuesday. germany's debt purely -- deputy chancellor said that greece has destroyed the last bridges
across which europe could have moved to a compromise. greece's finance minister yanis varoufakis announced his resignation today. he said he will where the creditors' loathing with pride. bp has reached an $18.7 billion settlement to resolve all government claims resulting from the deepwater horizon explosion. the agreement covers damages sought by the federal government alabama, florida, louisiana, mississippi, and texas, as well as 400 civic entities across the gulf coast. if confirmed by a federal judge it would be the largest environmental settlement in u.s. history and the largest by a single entity. the florida attorney general general says it would avoid years of litigation.
>> we are thrilled with the settlement. it is a landmark settlement. i think $2 billion is a lot of money. this is a historic settlement. had we litigated this, this is a rabbit hole, it is a black hole, we have would -- we would have been in litigation for years. this would have been appealed --our grandchildren would have seen the money. amy: a federal judge found last year that bp and engaged in gross negligence -- engaged in gross negligence before this bill. although $18.7 billion is a significant sum we have concerns about how much of the money will be allocated in restoring the gulf coast. while it looks like a lot, just remember that bp makes that amount every three months in net
profit. the iran nuclear talks are continuing in vienna. negotiators aim to reach a deadline by tuesday. the real deadline could be thursday. secretary of state john kerry said that despite progress, the talks could go either way. >> we are not yet where we need to be on several of the most difficult issues. the truth is that while i completely agree with foreign ministers the reef that we have never been closer -- with the foreign minister that we have never been closer, at this point, the negotiation could go either way. if hard choices get made in the next couple of days and made quickly -- amy: civilian casualties have been reported in one of the largest u.s.-led strikes in
syria today. 10 militants were killed with a reported eight civilians. iraq claims it was targeting isil fighters, but most of the dead were civilians. at least 12 people have been killed or wounded after an iraqi warplane accidentally bombed a residential area of baghdad. mechanical failure was blamed. pope francis has launched an eight-day tour of south america. the pope is in ecuador before going on to visit bolivia and paraguay. he has called this tour a homecoming to his native continent. south carolina lawmakers are set to begin debate on a measure to remove the confederate flag from the state capital.
it would take a two thirds majority vote in both chambers of the general assembly. later in the broadcast, we will speak to bree newsome, the activist to scaled the capital flagpole to take down the confederate flag just over a week ago. an estimated 10,000 people gathered in toronto, canada to call for climate justice and a green revolution. organizers called it the most diverse climate mobilization ever in canada with participants including frontline indigenous communities and the country's largest unions. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show in greece. more than 60% of voters rejected a bailout deal proposed by international creditor us which proposed harsh austerity measures, but included no debt relief.
this is one voter who joined thousands to celebrate in the streets of athens. >> this is our first step to our next battle. now it truly starts. i do not think everything will suddenly be perfect, but it is a first at in making fear go away. -- step in making fear go away. slowly, we will get to the place that we deserve to be. amy: great prime minister alexis tsipras responded to the no vote saying that greeks had proved the democracy will not be blackmailed. >> considering last week you made a very brave choice. however, i am fully aware that the mandate is a mandate to strengthen our negotiation position and seek a viable solution. the issue of debt will also be on the negotiating table. amy: debt talks will resume
immediately with a new negotiating tame tsipras says. this follows a surprise reg is sick -- resignation by the greek finance minister costas panayotakis -- the greek finance minister yanis varoufakis. he was made aware by a preference of eurogroup participants, he said, for my absence from the meetings. he added, "i consider it my duty to help alexis tsipras exploit the capital that the greek people granted us through yesterday's referendum and i shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride." german chancellor angela merkel is meeting today with french president françois hollande in an emergency summit. for more, we're joined by costas panayotakis, the author of
"remaking scarcity: from capitalist inefficiency to economic democracy." repressor of sociology at new york city's college of economics. we spoke to you before the vote. did the no vote surprise you? costas: i think it surprised everybody, including the government. all of the polls suggested that it was very close. i think it was a great victory for democracy. people were under immense psychological pressure from the media, threatening them with nightmare scenarios. business owners were threatening workers. they were also being threatened by the european partners, who were saying that a no vote would mean in a set from the eurozone -- an exit from the eurozone. it is a hopeful development. it will not end austerity, but
it creates a better environment for anti-austerity forces to keep fighting. amy: what does it mean today? costas: the situation in greece is still very difficult. it is urgent because the banks are closed. the normality in the banking system has to be restored. it will have a bad effect on the economy and this creates lots of pressure on the greek government. it is consistent with the strategy of economic strangulation that the europeans have used since the election of this anti-austerity government. amy: yanis varoufakis resigned today. he said that the country can now ask for a fair deal from international partners. >> we will invite them one by one to find common ground. we will seek the fact that the
international monetary fund -- we see that the international monetary fund published a report that confirms that our debt needs restructuring. amy: that was the finance minister yanis varoufakis. he re-signed -- he surprised many by resigning. he was made aware that the absence -- his absence from the meetings could be potentially helpful. what about this? costas: there had been some talk about yanis varoufakis. he used to be the head of the negotiating team and he had been replaced from that role a few months ago because he was insistent on a deal that is viable. he is not a long-term politician. he did not want to just receive
an agreement that would last a few months and would continue this pattern of agreements that have to be reconsidered and revisited a few months later. that made him very unpopular with his partners, who are the more traditional politicians. perhaps it was partly a stylistic issue, as well. they are usually gray, technocratic figures. his style was commented on. there were substantial differences. he held for his position, which was substantially right. amy: the older people tended to vote yes and the younger people overwhelmingly voted no. pensioners are afraid for their economic stability. costas: this is in line with the electorate results, including the electorate results back in january.
there were a lot of terror campaigns in the media, that never looked very closely in the past about the sufferings of ordinary people. they were suffering relentlessly on the queues of pensioners trying to collect pensions from the banks and it created a climate of fear. for many young people, they have lost so much already that they fear they have nothing more to lose. amy: last week economist thomas piketty was interviewed by a german newspaper saying "when i hear the german say they maintain a moral stance about that and believe that that's must be repaid -- debts must be repaid, i think what a joke it is." costas: i think there is a lot of hypocrisy on the part of many european officials the head of the european commission was the
prime minister of luxembourg that thrived as a tax haven through the tax receipts of other european countries and other countries like the netherlands have also served as a tax haven. they are hardliners and they are hardliners and that point the finger at greece and forget that there may be issues in greece, there is corruption, but often times the corrupters are european companies, german companies. amy: professor costas panayotakis, thank you for joining us, the author of "remaking scarcity: from capitalist inefficiency to economic democracy." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we move south to south carolina. state lawmakers will begin debate today on whether or not to move the confederate flag from the state house. following the massacre of nine black worshipers at a church in
south carolina, president obama and governor nikki haley have called for the removal of the confederate flag from the state house. for the rest of the show today, we bring you our extended interview with bree newsome, who removed the confederate flag by scaling the flagpole on the state capitol grounds, equipped with a helmet and climbing gear and with the base of the poll. she unhooked the confederate flag. >> this flag comes down today. amy: i come against you in the name of god, this flag comes down today. as she reached the ground, she and jimmy tyson were arrested. her actions went viral.
her bail fund has raised over 125,000 dollars. the director of "selma" hailed her. within an hour workers had raised a new confederate flag on the capitol grounds. later that day federal -- confederate flag supporters and antiracism -- they were charged with the facing state property which carries a three-year sentence. i asked about the reaction to the protest. >> it was one of the most liberating and beautiful moments i have known in all my 25 years of life besides my daughter being born, to see that flag
actually come down and all of the things that represents being taken down by a strong black woman was one of the greatest symbols that one person could ever witness. >>amy: you came out here on your own to the detention center? >> i did. i came to show my support for bree. she did what many people have not had the courage to do. we support her. whatever she needs, we are here for her. it does not matter how you feel about what she should have been she done what needed that she did what had to be done when it needed to be done. amy: that is karil parker and tamika lewis speaking outside the jail. bree and jimmy were released after their bond was posted.
bree newson and jimmy tyson joined me on thursday in new york. i started asking bree newsome where she is from and why she decided to do what she did. bree: i come from the south. [laughter] my ancestors came through charleston's slave market. the confederate flag is a symbol of folks trying to hold us into the place of bondage that we had been before. and our struggle the past 150 years of trying to come out of that place. i'm sure i was like a lot of people sitting at home looking at the flag flying and wishing i could just take it down, but i had no idea if it was possible and how possible it would be. i had even contemplated just attempting to climb it on my own, knowing i would not make it up the poll. that is how strongly i felt about it.
when i handed up connecting with other activists in north carolina and found out there were people who did know how to plan for how we could possibly scale the pole, there were many roles to fill. one was needing someone to climb up and that was a high risk of arrest. after some prayer and really thinking about it, i decided to volunteer. amy: you are from charlotte north carolina? bree: yes. amy: there are confederate flag rallies. lots of guns in south carolina. were you fearful? jimmy:bree: absolutely. the retaliation piece was much scarier to me then arrest. i was even thinking about the possibility of being on the flagpole and you never know who might walk by. quite frankly, you could get shot. you never know especially when you are up there.
you are in a highly vulnerable position. i really did have to pray on it quite a bit. but part of why it was so important for me to do that is because that flag also represents fear. it is racial intimidation, it is fear. these are the things they would fly when people would be marching for integration. it is a sign of intimidation. it is undergirded by violence and has been ever since the failure of reconstruction. that is part of what tamika was speaking to. having a black woman climb up there and take that down was a strong sign of we refuse to be ruled by this fear. amy: jimmy tyson, how did you get involved? jimmy: i was approached about a week forehand. they said, i think we are going to do something big. i said, this is going to be trouble.
i was so game for it. i said let's do this, this is ridiculous. i am so sick of not only the fear and intimidation in our culture, but also just that they would not even take it down, they would not even lower it to half mast. it is completely unacceptable. when given an unjust law like that, it is important that we stand for what is right. i am going to do everything i possibly can to make sure that justice and equality are served. just in my locality. it is critically important that white people put some skin in the game. racism is unacceptable. hate crimes are unacceptable. we cannot live in this culture.
i am from charlotte, as well. amy: i want you to take us to that morning. it is saturday morning. the funeral for referenda and state senator clementa pinckney had just taken place. were you there? bree: i was not. i did watch the eulogy the night before. somebody who knew that i was about to do this said, you have to do this. you have to watch this and think on it. i was hoping that somehow they would have the dignity to take the flag down before his casket passed by, but that day, all of the events of that day further confirm to me that we had to do this. amy: the republican governor of alabama, the workers came and took the flags down. bree: i feel that is how it should be done, quite frankly. i don't think that symbol
deserves the dignity of debate. it is a flag of treason and a flag of hatred. amy: let's go to president obama delivering the eulogy at the college of charleston on friday. >> removing the flag from the state capital would not be an active political correctness, it would not be an insult to the valor of confederate soldiers. it would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery, was wrong. [applause] >> by taking down that flag, we express -- amy: that was president obama on friday giving the eulogy for reverend pinckney, the pastor of mother emanuel in charleston, where nine parishioners were
gunned down on june 17. the alleged shooter, dylann roof , said he wanted to kill black people, according to survivors. then we saw the manifesto believed to be written by him online, as he further explained. breathe new some, your thoughts --bree newsome, your thoughts listening to president obama. bree: absolutely spot on. that is why it was so moving to people. one of the things that was so tough about the immediate aftermath of the massacre was not just the violence itself but the apparent's obfuscation about what happened. there are a lot of things being thrown out. yes, it is an issue of gun violence. yes, it is a church being targeted. specifically, it is a black church. we should not remove it from the
amy: bree newsome singing "stay strong." we continue our conversation with bree newsome. she brought down the confederate flag from in front of the state capital days after the nine people were murdered. bree: when there was an uprising in baltimore and a cvs burned or a store burned in ferguson and i see tons of outrage of how can you do this and it is horrible that they did that, but then we have -- amy: you see the building at every single angle as it burned. bree: every single angle, but then all of these black churches can burn and it completely goes
under the radar. why is that? these things happen and we remove them from any kind of context. maybe the cvs burning does look like a really horrible thing but you are not considering that this is a business that exists within an oppressed neighborhood where the people own nothing, they do not really benefit a whole lot from this economic situation. they have been protesting and they have gone unheard. you have these black churches that are historically targeted because they are centers of black organization. that is important to understand. amy: president says by taking down the flag we express god's grace. take us to saturday, june 27, 15 hours after president obama gave that eulogy. bree: absolutely. not everybody that came together to do this action is coming from that christian perspective but for me personally, absolutely
one hundred percent. i do believe that all men are created equal with unalienable rights endowed by our creator of that flag is an affront to that value. for people who think that there is some kind of confusion about that, you can go back and read what was written by the people who created the confederacy. they seceded because they disagreed with the precept behind the constitution. amy: you upon the columbia state capitol grounds. what time in the morning? bree: it was about 5:30 that we were ready to go. amy: were there any guards around? bree: yes, there were guards around in the morning and so we had some people looking out to give us the clear and it was probably about 6:00 that we got the clear to deploy. amy: there were no guards? bree: not at the moment. amy: you hop the fence? jimmy: i helped her over the fence and then i climbed over
and i help her get her gear onto the pole. we knew that we needed to get her high enough above the ground before the guards came out that she would not be able to be pulled right off. that was the primary focus at that point. once she was up i started scaling and waiting for the cops. amy: how long did it take? bree: 10 minutes to scale for the top. the guards were there within five minutes. amy: had you ever climbed a flagpole before? bree: i had never climbed a flagpole until two days before? amy: was it hard? bree: by the time i was going it probably helped with adrenaline. amy: you practiced two days before. bree: yes. amy: this is 30 feet high. you made your way to the top. bree: i was just relieved at how simple it was to unhook the flag . our intention was not to cause property damage. we were trying to do as little
disturbance beyond moving the flag. all i had to do was unhook it. from there it was amazing. amy: i'm going to play the clip as you are coming down. the police officers are telling you to get down. this is bree newsome on the flagpole taking down the confederate flag that has flown on the flagpole either their from 2000 or on the top of the state capital from 1961. >> you come against me with hatred and prejudice and violence. i come against you in the name of god, this flag comes down today. amy: tell us what it is you are saying as you were holding the confederate flag on your way down. bree: i was kind of having it bit of a back-and-forth with the police officer who was scolding me for having broken the law and having done the wrong thing. in the long history of social
justice, freedom fighters were always blamed for storing the trouble up because the problem is not there until we acknowledge it. i was having the conversation with it that i came prepared to be arrested. i wanted to let them know that there was not going to be any escalation. amy: had they taken you by now? jimmy: no. i said i would not leave until she was off the flagpole. the safest way to get her off the flagpole is to allow her to descend under her own volition. it was not until after she was down that we were placed in custody. they had enough respect to allow me. amy: what was the prayer that you cited? bree: there was one point at -- debt at wish the officer told me it was doing the wrong thing, so i quoted from isaiah. what kind of fast have i chosen? is it not to break the yoke of oppression? i felt that in no way i was doing the wrong thing.
laws can be unjust. i feel that the law that protects that symbol of hate is an unjust law. the fact that the people elected in office who want to take it down are obligated to debate over whether or not they can take it down is unjust. i was being very clear about that. i was also praying a pair of protection over myself. fortunately, the police were very professional with me, but that was something else i considered. amy: as we tried to make it out you said, you have come against me with hatred bree:. i said, you come against me with hatred and oppression of violence. i come against you in the name of god. in one of those nights where i was pondering have i completely lost my mind in doing this? i read the story of david and goliath and david says, you have come against me with sword and spear and javelin and i come against you in the name of the
lord. as a black woman in america, that is what that moment felt like. i come from a historically disempowered place. that is why it was so powerful to a lot of people, especially black women, to see me up there holding met flag in that way. amy: you said, i come against you in the name of god. bree: this flag comes down today. amy: how to that feel to say that? bree: amazing on a personal level, at that point. in the aftermath of seeing what it meant to so many people. i think a moment like that is not just about that confederate flag, it is about every person who has been oppressed taking a stand against any symbol of oppression. amy: you came down. the police officers arrested you. there were black and white officers. it was a black officer who walked away with you. did you have a conversation with him? bree: i was praying as i walked away.
he asked me why do you feel that the holy spirit lead you to do this? i was quite frank with him. that is how i felt. people come from all different types of spiritual traditions and things that motivate them. for me, it is a calling as a human being, as a child of god to fight on behalf of the oppressed. amy: we got there a little while later. within an hour, the flak was back up and it was put up by african-american officers. bree: that is a powerful statement, as well. i don't think they had to climb the pull to put it back up. the only images i have seen is on the ground. this black person who works for the state is required to lift this flag up because of a law that was put in place by a racist legislator in the 1960's to oppose integration. you can write a million think pieces about that. amy: i want to go to one of the
pieces you rallied in support of the confederate flag at the capital on saturday while our guests were in jail. this is william wills. >> my name is william wales. i am planting the flag for the people who died. anybody who died for this flag. period. it ain't got nothing to do with black, white. hell, yeah/ this flag means that the 13 original colonies wanted to stay out of the united states government. amy: that was william wales wrapped in the confederate flag. he was standing next to the confederate monument. he was standing next to a young african-american student from the university of south carolina who was opposing the flag. your response. bree: quite frankly -- and i
said this in the statement -- one of the problems we have in the united states is that we are not the best when it comes to educating our children on history. the confederacy is a southern thing, but white supremacy is not. while the confederacy was defeated in the civil war, when reconstruction fell apart and there was the imposition of jim crow the north largely turned a blind eye to it because the north has an issue of racism as well. you see that playing out today when we are in 2015 and we are debating what the civil war was about. the united states went to war with itself over the issue of slavery and more americans died in that war than any other and we still have people who are not entirely clear on what the confederate flag represents. amy: your thoughts on people saying that you should have waited for the debate.
it looks like there are enough south carolina legislators -- it is not even clear right now -- to have a two thirds majority needed to take down the flag. you made a different decision. bree: like i said, why is a debate required? the debate is required because of a law that was put in place by a racist all-white legislature in this 1960's. i thought it was a powerful statement to have the people go and take it down. we are drawing that attention not just to the confederate flag, not just to that symbol, but to the brokenness of the system itself. when we are talking about white supremacy, it is not just about a flag and a symbol. it is about how these things are ingrained in our institutions. as best exemplified by the fact that we have to have a debate about whether or not we have to take the flag down.
the civil rights person who was assassinated. it is astounding when you take a step back and look at it objectively. amy: take us to the detention center just down the road where you are held for a number of hours. bree: we were pretty much euros to be quite frank with you -- heroes to be quite frank with you. we did not know what the reaction might be in jail or what the treatment might be. quite frankly, the feeling i got from everybody is that everybody is ready for it to come down. amy: heroes among whom? bree: among the guards and everybody who was in handcuffs for various reasons. we were all in agreement that the flag needed to come down and we were glad -- they were glad that we had done that. amy: you can before an african-american woman judge in a caged in area. a few of us reporters were allowed in.
we saw you through the cage, but there was an opening, almost like a bank teller's area for you to stand and look at the judge and state your name and address. your feelings as she read the charge that you had defaced public property. bree: this is not the first time that i have been arrested for protesting. my feelings this time was the same as the first time. when you feel like you have really done nothing wrong, the bars in the handcuffs and all of the other things, it does not faze me because there is no shame in what i did. i am simply going through the motions that the system says i must go through. i unhooked a flag from a post and brought it down and handed it to the police officers. everyone who i interacted with in jail was very professional. it was fine. i was not overly concerned. amy: we did hear when dylann
roof was taken to jail, they went out and got him burger king. did you get anything like that? bree: no. somebody asked me on twitter and i did not know that peanut butter and jelly could be bad until i had jail peanut butter and jelly. i was pretty amazed. we stuck through it for a while. amy: the judge could have let you out on euro own recognizance, but she did not. she set the bar under $3000 each . she said you had to pay 10%. what were your thoughts about that? even the solicitor said you should get out on personal recognizance. bree: everyone seemed to be surprised. i thought it could have been because we were from charlotte. it could have been because they were trying to dissuade people from following in our footsteps. i was assuming that we would be released on her own
recognizance. jimmy: she can't appear lenient especially being an african-american female. that could be really misconstrued for her personal career, so i understand it and i don't have a problem with that at all, especially being out-of-state. it is reasonable to assume that we were going to duck our charges, but we will not. amy: who pay the bond? bree: my lawyer did. amy: a lot of people were saying they would pay that $300 for you each. bree: yeah. amy: you tweeted, i have already spent more time in jail for unhooking the confederate flag from a posted and the cop who assaulted a girl in florida. bree: that is a fact. we also me on camera unhook the confederate flag. i was arrested immediately. we have also seen on camera a
cop assault a child that a cool party and he has yet to be arrested. why is that? i think that speaks to the larger issue of systemic racism, of bias, of all of those things. even on a more fundamental level, the tendency to place more value on property than on the lives of people. amy: you have to go back to columbia, south carolina on july 27, that was the date that was set eerie at -- set. jimmy: it is a first appearance. i am anticipating that the charges might disappear before then. it is quite possible to fly could come down between now and then. amy: we will come back in 30 seconds. ♪ ♪ [music break]
amy: "strange fruit," nina simone. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue our conversation with bree newsome who scaled the flagpole and took down the confederate flag from the south carolina state capital. they each face a $5,000 fine and three years in jail. bree: it was restored to its original condition in 45 minutes.
i maintain my innocence of defacing state property. amy: it is my understanding that that heavy fine and sentence for that act came from 2000, the compromise to bring the confederate flag down from off the capital and next to the monument, that part of that compromise was to up the penalty against anyone who would deface the flag, if you want to call it the facing. bree: again, it is pretty amazing when you look at it how much more protection is placed around this flag of treason and the symbol of hate then even the united states, the flag of the united states of america. i think it is a moment for us all to do a values check. jimmy: it is definitely a dumb moment. bree: yeah. amy: you also tweeted what you plan to do next. organizing your community.
this brings us to the movement you come out of and the groups you are a part of. can you talk about what inspires you? bree: certainly. in north carolina -- i had marched with occupy before north carolina, then i got involved with the moral monday movement around voting rights. i have done some work with ignite north carolina, organizing student leaders on campus. i have been involved in the raise up campaign, helping fast food workers unionize and raise wages. i am also with the tribe in charlotte, this is just community members, a lot of people are teachers, artists coming together and really trying to, when i say develop self-sufficiency helping our community to be in a place where we are not so dependent on systems that do not value our lives. how it is right now as we are so dependent on institutions and
systems that were not designed for us. we are trying to work to empower people in their everyday lives and to adjust their immediate needs. amy: how did you come up with the name the tribe? bree: we just kind of drew together in the aftermath of ferguson, we held a rally in charlotte in solidarity. we got together to just talk. we ended up just calling ourselves the tribe because we had been in so many other activist spaces and we finally found each other. who would have thought in this place of all places? amy: jimmy, what have you been involved with? jimmy: we have a radical legislature that is running the state into the ground. mainly, what i have been doing as i have been working with grassroots for the last five years doing actions like this.
most of them never get as much media attention, but that would be the idea. we have been working within our communities. i work with a group called charlotte action. me and a handful of other people help started. it has done good in our community. amy: bree, you are also involved with the charlotte mecklenburg naacp and she talked about you being the chair of social media. bree: yes, i just joined up with the local naacp chapter. they are really committed to doing more activism and on the ground work come a i believe in, as well. amy: the response that you have gotten. the video went viral all over the world. what is that you think you have tapped into? bree: i think that a lot of people were really feeling
disheartened. i know that there was something that really punched me in the gut, especially after the massacre, because it just felt like, we are still relitigating the civil war. amy: where were you when you heard about the massacre? bree: i was in charlotte. i heard about it shortly after it was breaking news. that was a really just awful sleepless night between me finding out about it and the morning when i knew most of america would find out about it. amy: did you find yourself resolving something then? bree: i had a crisis of faith quite honestly. i have been doing this work for a few years now and, for the most part, especially things about civil rights, a lot of things have felt commemorative. we are still fighting about voting rights, but for the most part it felt like things like
16th street baptist church those things felt like things in the past. wednesday night, it became very real. i really had to think, i could die for doing this work and am i prepared to do that? i called my sister at 3:00 in the morning and talked with her about it and i had to come back to a point of, yes, i'm willing to die if i have to. amy: you have been called the new rosa parks. she was also a member of an ame church. what are your thoughts about that? in the case of rosa parks, so many people know her name and talked about that entire bus -- but she was a longtime organizer. she was secretary of the local naacp. how do you feel to be compared to her? bree: i think it is amazing. i don't feel like -- but i don't know if i ever could. rosa parks probably did not feel
it rosa parks. she probably thought she was an organizer doing what organizers do. amy: i don't know of she could sing like you, but how did you get involved with singing? bree: that is where i started out. from the time i was a child. i had not expected social justice to be such a big part of my life. but it ended up being my calling. amy: would you like to perform anything a cappella? jimmy: let's hear it. bree: ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes until the killing of a black man a black mother's son is as important as a white man a white mother's son
we who believe in freedom we cannot rest until it comes. ♪ ♪ amy: would you like to share something else with us? bree: i don't know what else i have to share. [laughter] amy: we have been playing since this happened the kind of raps that you do. talk about that song. bree: i wrote that in the aftermath of ferguson, which was another moment kind of like the charleston massacre. having been involved with the movement since the time of trayvon martin and all of that, we had not faced tanks and tear gas, so ferguson was the time that that took it to another level in terms of what we might be facing as we continue down this road of challenging racism in our system. i wanted to write something in
response to that. i decided to do "stay strong" as a song of encouragement to all of the other freedom fighters out there. amy: would you perform it for a seer? bree: pocket pella? amy: sure. bree: ♪ weighing heavy on my mind trying to find that were to define how i feel something goes down to remind me the dream mate real that is the burden of the young black, and gifted they say go be exceptional and professional sometimes you can't fix what is institutional sometimes you have to say bump it they don't want no real republic when we broach the subject they tried to deflect. they anger got no respect it don't make it right just because you are majority that is why
you ain't got no jurisdiction with me knowledge is free i went through college and the hood i be spreading college love to my brothers and sisters. ♪ ♪ amy: that is "stay strong: a love song to freedom fighters." bree: i love to be in that tradition. artists are such a big part and always have been of times like this. that is why i love seeing the art that was inspired by the moment. it was amazing. things happen and people react to it and artists have the ability to interpret that moment for the people in a way that we can digest and discuss with each other. absolutely. amy: you said people quoting king and dropping bombs. bree: in the aftermath of
ferguson, there was a lot of, how would dr. king feel about you rabble-rousers in the street ? specifically to the young people out in the streets after ferguson. i find that so completely odious and offensive. when people call for peace, what they are really calling for is order. what they are really calling for his people to go back to business as usual, which is actually violence. people think that violence is only when something is on fire or a gun is being fired, but gandhi said that poverty is the worst form of violence. our kids being shuffled from schools and to prison is violence. kids being hungry is violence. we live with violence every single day. the violence does not begin just when the cvs is burned. amy: what is next for you? bree: next, i plan to go back to write what i was doing which is organizing in my community.
i am probably going to do a music video for the song since everybody has noticed it area i would love to do something like that and pull the kids from my community into that. a lot of people have been activated and want to get involved in the movement. what i do is i see what skills and talents people have to offer and i plug them in to work. amy: do you consider yourselves a member of the black lives matter movement? bree: absolutely. jimmy: just being a steward for the land first and foremost is what i am doing. beyond that, absolutely going back to the community and organizing and putting boots on the ground. that will probably be the next step. amy: july 20 seventh, you have a date in columbia, south carolina. would you like to take us out with a song? bree: so much pressure. [laughter] bree: i will do the last verse.
♪ brown is mahogany dreaming what he want to be so much of his time goes to dodging bullets half of the time it was a cop that pulled it living like occupied people in the gulf do black bodies used and tossed aside they trying to lock us up and lock us out for life they trying to block us every time they demand rights we are going to keep on speaking we are standing on the freedom side of the light feeling strong in our human rights. ♪ ♪ amy: " stay strong: a love song to freedom fighters." bree newsome and jimmy tyson. bree newsome scaled the flagpole in columbia, south carolina and took down the confederate flag.
ay well lose half of the world's biological diversity. >> the most dire numbers, i think, are on the timescale of about 35 years. >> do we know enough about what's going on to be scared by it? my answer as a scientist is--hell yes! >> i do not think we in any way should feel complacent that we are not on the list of possible extinctions.